The official name of Ginkakuji Temple is Higashiyama Jishoji Temple, one of the sub-temples of Shokokuji Temple. Ginkakuji is based on Higashiyama-den, a villa built by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate. It became a temple after Yoshimasa’s death.
Shokokuji Temple Official WEB site (English page)
The common name “Ginkaku” (silver pavilion) was given to the temple during the Edo period. Since Rokuonji Temple was called “Kinkaku” (golden pavillion), Jishoji Temple, also a sub-temple of Shokokuji Temple like Kinkaku, was called “silver”.
Passing through a path of high hedges called Ginkakuji-gaki, which runs from the main gate to the middle gate of the temple, you will find Kannon-den, a national treasure and the symbol of the Temple. The Kannon-den is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Visitors must walk along the path in order.
The interior of the Kannon-den is always closed to the public.
In addition to Kannon-den, Togudo is another national treasure. Togudo was built in 1486 to enshrine Yoshimasa’s guardian deity, and the Amida Nyorai and a statue of Yoshimasa are enshrined in the hall. Tougudo is the oldest surviving shoin-style building. The interior of Togudo can be viewed during special openings.
Ginkakuji is so famous that there is no need to explain it in detail. There is no best season for this temple, since there is something to look forward to in each of the four seasons.